Other NJ News

Meet Plainfield Hometown Hero La'Shanda Holmes

16853d2ea0bbd3b7997e_1_plus_banner.jpg
The Coast Guard's Lieutenant La'Shanda Holmes Credits: Jennifer Popper
91b980bd4ada889ea44e_3_plus_banner.jpg
Plainfield resident Greg Carter and his wife Sandy with their niece, Lieutenant La'Shanda Holmes Credits: Jennifer Popper
ec9251850cc84c2e734f_1_plus_banner_full_length.jpg
Lieutenant La'Shanda Holmes Credits: Jennifer Popper
16853d2ea0bbd3b7997e_1_plus_banner.jpg

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Drive down East 7th Street in Plainfield, and you might catch a glimpse of a banner celebrating Lieutenant La'Shanda Holmes, the first African-American female helicopter pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Holmes was born in Plainfield's Muhlenberg Hospital in 1985.  After her mom passed away when she was just two years old, she faced a difficult childhood, and spent time in the foster care system.

Overcoming adversity, Holmes attended Atlanta's Spelman College as a Bonner Scholar. The program provides a four-year scholarship to students in need who have a commitment to service. 

Sign Up for E-News

As a freshman, she studied biochemistry. That year, she worked at a career fair, sitting across the way from a gentleman from the Coast Guard. The Iraq War had begun, and he hadn't had many students visit his booth.  Holmes struck up a conversation, and became intrigued in what he had to say about the military service. 

She was offered a scholarship for her last two years at college, and in 2005, headed to boot camp in Cape May, NJ. Holmes graduated from Spelman College in 2007, and from Officer Candidate School in 2008.  In 2010, she earned the coveted Wings of Gold, pinned on her by mentor Lt. Jeanine Menze, the first African-American female pilot in the Coast Guard who flew C-130s.

Holmes moved to Los Angeles, CA, where she worked search and rescue, marine environment protection, and drug migrant interdiction duty. After, in Atlantic City, NJ, she worked Rotary Wing Air Intercept, or RWAI, around the President of the United States.

While in Atlantic City, she found out about the White House Fellows Program under the Obama administration, and was appointed to the 2015-2016 class.

Today, Lt. Holmes is stationed in Miami, Florida.  She's applied to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and has received an acceptance letter to become a five-year term member.

Learn more about Lieutenant Holmes:

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

South Orange Police Blotter: Robbery Reported on South Orange Avenue

June 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of June 16

Robbery - An Alpha, NJ resident reported that he was robbed on Sunday, June 3, at approximately 12:30 a.m. while he was walking on South Orange Avenue near Scotland Road. The victim stated that he was approached by three unknown actors who punched him and knocked him to the ground. The actors then stole his cell phone and wallet ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Home Burglaries Reported

June 4, 2018, Burglary; Sometime during the daytime hours, a home on the 100 block of Midland Blvd was forcibly entered.  At the time of the report it was unknown what the proceeds were.

June 4, 2018; Thefts; During the overnight hours a metal rack was stolen from outside of a business on the 200 block of Elmwood Ave.

June 5, 2018; Motor Vehicle Theft; During the overnight hours, a van ...

Fifth Annual Two Towns Triathlon for Kids Postponed Until September Due to South Orange Pool Still Being Closed

June 14, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The 5th Annual Two Towns Triathlon for Kids, originally scheduled to be held in South Orange on Saturday, June 16, has been postponed until Saturday, September 8, according to an update on the South Orange website. 

 

The postponement is because the South Orange Community Pool is still closed for the season due to construction delays with the filter ...

Second Year of Maplewood South Orange Book Festival Brings Authors and Readers Together

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Anna Quindlen. Rosemary Wells. Keith Hernandez. Tayari Jones. These are just a few of the authors who were speakers at the Second Annual Maplewood South Orange Book Festival on Saturday.

The book festival, which attracted about 2,000 attendees according to organizers, had a full day of author panels covering a wide range of topics that included "#MeToo: From ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back Religions And Spirituality

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f87fbcddb8c623bb6c0_downtown_after_sundown_2

Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

Spiotta Park, South Orange

Jersey Swamp Cats in Downtown After Sundown

Arts & Entertainment

Lecia Bianca Jewels Creates a Bridge to Make Bloomfield Center the Next Style Destination

June 16, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Center renaissance continues as Lecia Bianca Jewels becomes a style destination on main thoroughfare in this Essex County Community. Lecia Clay, owner of the boutique, describes her jewelry as 'bridge jewelry,' - pieces that are in a space between costume jewelry and fine jewelry, while having value. 

'Lecia Bianca' is the ...

Record Number Attends West Essex YMCA's Sixth Annual Bike Livingston

LIVINGSTON, NJ — On the heels of National Bike Safety Month in May, a new record of nearly 500 Livingston riders participated in the sixth annual Bike Livingston event, a family-oriented bike tour of Livingston’s neighborhoods hosted each year by the West Essex YMCA on the first Sunday in June.

With three routes to choose from—a four-mile route around the ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Applications to Rutgers Jumps Nearly 10 Percent; Increase From Out-of-State Students

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Applications to Rutgers University this year increased 9.4 percent over last year, university President Robert Barchi told the Board of Governors at a meeting this week.

The university received nearly 45,000 applications this year, Barchi said.

That included a 20 percent increase in the number of students from outside New Jersey applying to Rutgers, the university ...

Maplewood Department of Public Works Employment Opportunity: Maintenance Worker

June 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Title: Maintenance Worker – Parks/Shade Tree Dept.

Issue Date: 6/18/18       ...

Jersey Swamp Cats in Downtown After Sundown Friday, June 22

Dance under the stars to the swingin’ sounds of the Jersey Swamp Cats when the boys bring their patented piano and guitar driven blues and vintage rock’n roll to Spiotta Park, as part of the Sounds In Spiotta Park DAS concert series on Friday, June 22!

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Spiotta Park, located on Village Plaza and South Orange Avenue.

 

Founder of Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award

Each year the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards highlight the spirit of civic engagement among New Jersey’s 1.5 million volunteers and provide Jefferson Awards medals in 22 categories of volunteer service.   

The 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards presentation ceremony and celebration of volunteerism was held at the War ...